Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting was brutally trolled on social media after his prediction of India getting bowled out for under 200 in their 4th innings on the fifth day of the Sydney Test. However, India on the back of a stunning counterattack by Rishabh Pant and dodged defiance by Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, and Ravichandran Ashwin held the fort on the final day to keep the Aussie attack at bay.
Ponting took to his official Twitter account where he wrote that his prediction went wrong because the pitch did not deteriorate anywhere close to what he had expected besides lauding Rishabh Pant, stating that the southpaw’s counter-punching approach was perfect for the conditions.
“So much for the prediction of India scoring under 200, this pitch hasn’t deteriorated anywhere near what I was expecting. Like the way Rishabh Pant’s playing, it’s the perfect approach to take in these conditions. And now it’s game on #AUSvIND,” Ricky Ponting said on Monday.
So much for the prediction of India scoring under 200, this pitch hasn't deteriorated anywhere near what I was expecting. Like the way Rishabh Pant's playing, it's the perfect approach to take in these conditions. And now it's game on #AUSvIND
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) January 11, 2021
Rishabh Pant came to the crease ahead of Hanuma Vihari after skipper Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in just the second over of the fifth day.
After being circumspect initially, Pant launched a stunning counterattack against Nathan Lyon and the other Aussie bowlers as he smashed a brilliant half-century in no time. Pant eventually went on to smash a 118-ball 97 as he along with the defiant Pujara stitched a 148-run-stand for the fourth wicket.
Post the dismissal of both Pant and Pujara, Australia might have thought that they will just mop up the lower-order but an injured Hanuma Vihari [23* off 161] and Ravichandran Ashwin [39* off 128 balls] produced a blockathon for the ages as the duo batted for more than 4 hours and 40-plus overs to help India defy the home side and script a memorable draw at the SCG.